Thursday, October 13, 2011

Making Up for Lost Time (a guest post by Justin Mannato)

Today's guest blogger is Justin Mannato of Daddy Knows Less. Justin's inspiration is is daughter (known as "Peanut" on the blog) and he strives to catch parenthood in real time. He captures the moments, large and small, that make up parenthood and family. Daddy Knows Less is Circle of Moms #12 Top Daddy Blogs.


Making Up For Lost Time

Sometimes the smallest thing will stop you in your tracks. And break your heartd

Another day started way too early as my alarm sounded at 4:24 in the morning. I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled downstairs, towel and razor in hand. I shower downstairs to ensure I don't wake everyone up.

There it was: frozen in time

Then, I saw it. Sitting there on one of the stools under the counter. One of the Peanut's books.

And that's when it hit me. Smacked me in the face, in fact.

Yesterday evening the Peanut ran into the kitchen holding that book. Did she want me to read it? No. She wanted to show me something in it. It's a book with a different dog on each page, and when you turn the pages each different dog takes on the same big googily eyes. She wanted to show me which one looks like Luna.

But I was too busy. To my defense, I really was very busy. I had to delay getting dinner started because Luna once again crapped in the living room. So I was annoyed and busy.

And it grosses me out to have to clean up dog poop and cook a meal. The hand washing knows no end.

Standing there in the kitchen ten hours later, guilt consumed me. I remembered telling the Peanut to please wait. I wasn't nasty. I nicely explained to her that because Luna had an accident, I couldn't look right now. But I will in a minute.

This is the daily struggle we as working parents endure. Sometimes I stop doing what I'm doing and pay attention to her. If not, I will follow up in a minute, when I have a minute. (But who ever has a minute?)

That minute never came. I felt devastated. I felt I had disappointed her. I showered, soaked in sorrow.

When I came home tonight to start dinner, I saw that book again. Forgotten again. By me. By the Peanut. Now 24 hours later, it still sat on that same stool.

I hadn't even taken my bag off my shoulder when I announced to her, "You know what I'd like you to do right now? May you show me what you wanted to show me in this puppy book?"

She immediately ran in from the playroom, as if no time had passed. She grabbed the book, turned the pages, and showed me.

"This one is Luna:"


Then she turned a few pages and said, "And this one is me.”


Maybe she didn't think anything of it. Maybe she did. Either way, I felt like in that one little moment, I saved her a trip to the therapist. I righted a wrong.

And in that moment, we both felt better. All it took was a little time.


Lana said...

We farm, and our lives right now in the middle of harvest revolve around a phone call saying "I need you here NOW." Our almost 7 & 9 year old girls don't always do NOW well, and it sometimes leads to frustrating chaos. I am so wracking my brain trying to find an easier way for them to be out the door ready in three minutes. Still working on it!

Daddy Knows Less said...

Thanks for hosting me on your blog and publishing this post, which is one of my favorites. I hope your readers enjoy it! -DKL/Justin

Bon Crowder said...

Daughter's only two right now, and I still find myself having to do things like this. Occasionally I will stop, sit on the floor, called her over and ask, “Do you need some attention?”

She will repeat, “attention.” And I'll sit and hold her and we'll snuggle and visit for a couple minutes. When we go back to our daily routine (me folding clothes or checking e-mail, and her attempting to destroy something else through curiosity), we're both much happier.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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